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Why Does My Tomato Have Green Seeds

You might think your tomatoes are ripened and ready to pick, only to slice them open and find green seeds. You would think that your seeds would be red like your tomatoes, so many gardeners think twice before eating them. Why might your tomato seeds be green?

The green color in tomato seeds comes from chlorophyll, which is how plants convert energy from the sun to nutrients. Seeds grow and absorb light, ripening over time to their better-known beige color. 

Though there is a perfectly good explanation for why seeds are green, many gardeners still have doubts about them. Below, we hope to clear those up with a deeper look at what green tomato seeds can mean.

Why Are Some Tomatoes Green on the Inside?

The tomatoes we get from the store are usually nice and ripe, with beige-colored seeds. When growing tomatoes, not all fruits ripen simultaneously and can have some interesting characteristics, like green seeds.

Green seeds are nothing out of the ordinary, though they are an indication that your tomato is not ripe. Seeds start green, absorbing as much light as they can to grow and mature. Over time, these seeds begin to harden, which is when they take on their beige tone.

Picking a tomato can be a difficult task. Growers have to look for the right color and feel before picking, which is not always easy. When harvesting tomatoes that are not quite ready yet, seeds can still be green, not able to be used for eating or for sowing.

What Color Should Tomato Seeds Be?

Tomato seeds should be a beige color when ripe and ready to eat. However, you can find seeds with a green tint to them. The color of the seeds inside your tomato will depend on things within the environment, including sun exposure, moisture availability, and more.

Though ripe and edible tomatoes typically have beige or off-white seeds, you can find some varieties in nature that have darker brown and even black seeds. Before tossing out tomatoes with different seeds, check for signs of decay or ensure that there is no foul odor before tossing out.

Do Cherry Tomatoes have Green Seeds?

Cherry tomatoes are a popular variety that growers love. They are easy to grow and smaller than other tomato types, sometimes maturing much faster. Cherry tomatoes often have green seeds on the inside, which is not an indication of whether or not they are ripe. Cherry tomatoes might be a little yellow on the inside and be perfectly ripe.

For cherry tomatoes, make sure that you feel them for firmness before picking them and checking their exterior color. These are both good indicators that they are ready to pick and will usually result in a tasty, juicy tomato, even if the inside seems a little green.

Are Green Seeds in Tomatoes Ok?

In most cases, green seeds signify that tomatoes are not ripe enough. However, some tomatoes, like cherry tomatoes, have green seeds naturally. When seeds are green, it doesn’t mean that your tomato is bad and will taste pretty good in some cases.

In cases where your tomato is too ripe, you may get a tangier flavor, but the green seeds will not make you sick.

Preventing Green Seeds in Tomatoes

If green seeds or tangy tomatoes are not your thing, you can do a few things to make sure that they don’t happen. To prevent cutting open a tomato and seeing green seeds, here’s what you’ll need to do.

#1. Check the Color

The number one indicator that tomatoes are ready for picking is the color. Many growers pick them when they are still a little green, letting them mature off of the vine before enjoying them. You can do the same but watch for a deep red color to form.

It should be ready to slice open once it reaches a red color and doesn’t have any green or yellow spots on the outside. And, unless it’s a cherry tomato, you won’t find green seeds on the inside.

#2. Feel your Tomato

Almost as important as the color is the feel of your tomato. You want your tomatoes to be firm but also give a bit when you squeeze them. They shouldn’t be too squishy, as that could indicate that they are over mature.

Before picking, feel them, and go for those that are firmer than your liking. Then, sit the tomatoes out and allow them to ripen a bit off the vine before devouring with your favorite dish.

#3. Smell your Tomato

When tomatoes are mature, they start to give off a wonderful fragrance. They will become fragrant as time passes, so give them a whiff before you pick. The more tomato-like they smell, the less chance you have to find green seeds in them.

Before You Go

Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes, but most have similar colors inside and out. If you find green seeds in your tomatoes, there is no need to panic. Instead, give them a quick taste to see if they’re ripe enough. Before picking, check the color, feel, and smell, using them as your guide to preventing green seeds.